Ducks stopped going into the pond?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Fillmore Farmer, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2015
    Alright, this may sound crazy but any help would be appreciated. Not long ago we bought some water fowl for our farm, we got a Toulouse goose, jumbo Peking duck and 3 Rhuen ducks, all babies. They were raised together and when they got big enough we put out a 4-foot plastic pool that they loved every day. When they got big enough we moved them all to our farm where I gave them an entire pen with a 6-foot pond...which they also immediately took to. I'm not sure if this matters but the ring leader is the Toulouse goose, where she goes so too go the ducks.

    3 weeks ago a small goat fell into the pond and drowned. Since that day the ducks have not returned to the pond. We've drained the pond and did some modifications with a pump so it was out of commission for a week. There is no scent or odor on the pond, it's clean plastic. I filled the pond and they still won't get into it.

    For the love of G-d, please don't tell me the ducks are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and have issues with the pond having witnessed a goat drown in it; could this even be possible? I've put the ducks into the pond and they get right out immediately. I brought the little 4-foot plastic pool from their youth and filled it with water, that too they won't go in. I guess it's the goose that leads the pack but I've seen ducks in that little pool without the goose.

    What could this be? I realize this is a great place for some animal psychologist to fix my ducks....but seriously, could their seeing a goat drown possibly affect them as much as a month later? It's crazy! I'm almost inclined to bring in another water fowl that will use the pond and perhaps reignite their interest in using it. Just to mention, the pond can pump it's filthy water into the tree orchard so I'm actually using the duck water as fertilizer but right now it's just a water tank, bizarre!

    thanks for any help

    - Steve
     
  2. cypressdrake

    cypressdrake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had an Alligator attack one of my Mallards, and almost tore her whole leg off. I had to put her down. It was over a year before any of the ducks would go in the pond at all. I had like 30 ducks in that yard at the time, and they all witnessed the attack. Even the geese stayed out the water.
    They can sense danger, and when they don't feel safe, they will stay clear. You may try trowing some corn on the edge of the water and see if they'll eat it in shallow water, and go from there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  3. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    So they saw the goat drown and that freaked them out to the point where they've given-up on water? It's crazy to think but it's the only explanation that fits. I may just need to find another duck so they can watch that duck enjoy the pond. Animals, huh!
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    That may work or the new duck may just pick up their habits, sorry about the goat, but it is like if there are snapping turtles in a pond and a duck gets taken by one the remaining ducks know there is danger there and won't go in. It's pretty traumatic for them to watch something like your goat drowning or a snapping turtle getting one of their own. Hopefully as time goes by they will get over it. Can you go into the pond and try and coax them in?
     
  5. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2015
    The ducks and goose have been unfriendly since day one...they run from us and even when we catch one and hold it gently, it generally just runs away. We also had a small chick that fell into the pond as well but they continued using the pond after that. Another thought is that I have a water bowl on the side of the corral and they've been using that (and making a mess as they like to do water --> dirt --> water so if I dry that bowl up they'll have to drink from the pond and perhaps return to it. What puzzles me is that they won't even go into their old small plastic pond, it's like they're hydrophobic!
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Therapy is next on your list lol
     
  7. cypressdrake

    cypressdrake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A new duck I think would do the trick. They couldn't resist one duck having all the fun.
     

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